Written by Zainab Bikar
In the spirit of Making a Difference, the University of Leicester organise volunteering activities and learning opportunities to raise awareness about sustainability and to encourage positive actions. This year, the Make a Difference campaign, also known as the Go Green Week, will be running between the 07th and 11th of February. This year’s theme of food waste and packaging is one that we could all learn about.
In 2020, Plan-It Change Society organised and led Go Green Week events. The Go Green Week at Leicester is similar to the People and Planets campaign – a national climate action campaign with wide student participation. In the 21/22 academic year, an organisation called Green Bubble was formed by the student union’s current president Rhiannon Jenkins with the support of the Social Impact Team, Alice Jackson and Emily Spencer. Societies who will participate in the Go Green Week include Plan-it Change, Innova Society, and Probono Climate Crisis, which are all a part of the Green Bubble.
I am currently part of the student union team organising events for the week on behalf of Innova society. Go Green Week events range from a documentary screening to a clothes swap and from litter picking to debates. These activities are designed to inspire small changes and increase awareness about consumption.
Fiona Poda, a second year physics student. who is the secretary for Innova Society and the treasurer for Plan-it Change, shared her opinion on volunteering and what she is looking forward to about Go Green Week:
What does volunteering mean to you?
“Volunteering for me means giving – giving your time, effort, dedication, awareness, and heart to a cause that deserves attention and often times is unrelated to what we wish to study or work for. That is what makes it one of the most humane actions and doings, as it is very important to be aware of what happens to humans and the world beyond everyday life.”
“It is very important to be aware of what happens to humans and the world beyond everyday life.”
What are you looking forward to in Go Green Week?
“I am looking forward to everything! From litter picking with different students to the discussions hosted by the Sustainable Medical society, Pro-Bono society, or the creative workshop on food packaging hosted by Innova. It will be so interesting to attend and host events that link the planet with many different fields and degrees.”
Personally, volunteering has been my favourite part of my university experience. My role as a peer mentor provided me with a different perspective to my studying and increased my awareness that we are all different people but alike in many ways. This is because it widened my horizon of what was possible and the variety of people that I met. This is why I joined Innova Society and participated in the Go Green Week this year.
I am responsible for kicking off the Go Green Week with a documentary screening to take us to the source of food waste. The documentary, Kiss the Ground narrated by Woody Harrelson, is about regenerative agriculture and how this helps to reverse the impact of climate change. The documentary examines the impact of pesticides on agricultural land. This event is taking place on Monday the 07th of February at 3.30 pm in Attenborough LT3.
If you are interested in making a difference and learning how we could all treat our environments and spaces better, then the Make a Difference Week is the week to do so. It is a chance to come together as a community and to do something impactful. The university of Leicester blog has the full list of activities listed and where and when they are happening.
- GGW 2020: https://le.ac.uk/go-green-week/about
- List of activities and dates: https://le.ac.uk/life-at-leicester/students/here-for-you/activities-calendar/making-a-difference
Zainab Bikar is a final year Mechanical Engineering student and former LSM President. Her interests span from engineering to journalism and she is currently looking to continue her education at a London University. You can find her on all social platforms @zainabbikar.
Feature Image: Unsplash.